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Somewhere Else Before


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Audio CD, August 7, 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 7, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00005NBZ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,851 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Somewhere Else Before
2. Dodge The Dodo
3. From Gagarin's Point Of View
4. The Return Of Mohammed
5. The Face Of Love
6. Pavane
7. The Wraith
8. The Chapel
9. In The Face Of Day
10. Spam-Boo-Limbo

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By William Merrill TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 10, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Although it might have a tough time living up to the N.Y. Times blurb on its cover ("...a vision of what (jazz) can be"), this CD is my favorite jazz disc of the year. The first time I heard it, I had the same reaction as from my first contact with Pat Metheny and Medeski Martin & Wood's music: here is something new and singular. In fact, the music on "Somewhere Else Before" has some of the same elements as both Metheny and MM&W's stuff -- the soaring, graceful melodicism of Metheny's work with Lyle Mays, plus the exotic constructions and unusual percussion of MM&W -- but the e.s.t. sound is entirely their own. A song such as "Dodge The Dodo" derives much of its uniqueness from the aggresive drumming of Magnus Ostrom (almost a hip-hop rhythm) paired with Esbjorn Svensson's cinematic piano notes. The third member of the trio, Dan Berglund, does things with the bass (acoustic and electric) we haven't heard before. For ex., on "The Face Of Love" his bass wails a call to prayer before doubling the main melody with Svensson's piano. Speaking of Mr. Svensson, his magnificent playing on this CD tells me he will soon be considered alongside people like Brad Mehldau as a top contemporary jazz pianist. On top of everything else, the eleven tunes on the CD (all orginals except one) mark the appearance of a significant new songwriting presence in jazz. They are each intricate beauties that become deeper each time you listen. I wish every jazz fan could hear this disc!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Morrison on October 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
E.S.T. coolly combines jazz virtuosity with rock and techno elements to make music that both immediately rewards (the catchy, propulsive "Dodge the Dodo" and the pensively melodic "From Gagarin's Point of View") and fosters repeat listening (hypnotic "The Wraith"). Piano man Esbjorn Svensson pours melodies from his fingers without being overbearing. Bassist Dan Berglund is not content to simply hold down the bottom; he uses the bow and electronic devices to bring his instrument to the forefront. Drummer Magnus Ostrom ties it all together with his battery of percussion. I've read some reviews that deride E.S.T. for their melodic and rhythmic accessibility. What rubbish! Jazz is more than Ornette Coleman. E.S.T.'s killer tunes and obvious musicianship mean more to me than all the 45-minute sax solos in the world. If that's what you like, don't pick up this album. But if you enjoy strong melody, rhythm and musicianship, buy this album (or indeed any of E.S.T.'s albums).
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By kamalesh on October 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This album is contains tracks previously released on EST's From Gagarin's Point of View and Good Morning Susie Soho. I love this pianist and the trio as a group and have travelled the world, literally and via the web, to obtain their albums. The playing is lyrical without being sentimental - elements of Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett. A wonderful use of space, like Ahmad Jamal. It's great to see that at least one album is now available on a mainstream site so EST can get greater exposure. As for the suggestion by another reviewer that Svensson could become as well thought of as Brad Meldhau, I have half a dozen or so albums of each group and play EST much more frequently - all their albums are five stars to me, whereas only one of Meldhau's have impressed me that much. EST is INTERESTING, creative music without being atonal or inaccessibly avante garde. If you like EST, you'll also love another swedish pianist, Lars Jansson who is perhaps sweeter and more melodic, like Bobo Stenson on War Orphans.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By loce_the_wizard VINE VOICE on August 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I concur with those who have given this CD positive, even glowing, reviews. (I'm not swayed by the comparison to Kenny G that one reviewer makes.) This music evokes the early work of Pat Metheny and Lyle May sand even Ralph Towner's solo Blue Sun, which is obliquely odd considering there is no lead guitar.
Rippling keyboards command one's attention, but it's the interplay of all---keyboards, bass, drums, assorted percussion and a few effects---that creates a hypnotic blend, a jazz mind-meld. Nuance and subtlety play a key part too, for the phrasing and spacing add to the aural tapestry.
Although the songs cover a variety of tempos and employ distinct ideas, the music, save for a strange, unlisted bonus track, is never strained or discordant, though full of energy and vibrancy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Doug S on January 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This cd is good enough to make me feel " i want to listen to thier music more". I don't want to judge musicsians from just one cd. CDs are just a part of their musical activity. But i can tell how i felt. Esbjorn's compostions of this cd are highly attractive. "Dodge the dodo" is memorable and vampish but has much excitement. Some lyrical tunes like "Pavane","From Gagarin's..." or "Chapel" make haunting atmosphere.

Someone who have listened to only thier studio-making cds should go to thier concert or listen to thier live on the radio (on a belgian radio, i listened the live in which E.S.T collaborated with Pat Metheny) or good live album EST 95. While in this cd there is little space of improvisation, Esbjorn's sence of piano improv highlighted more on thier lives is mezmerizing and moving. He is an original voice on the scene.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listened to EST's latest album "A Strange Place For Snow" before listening to this one - This One's Better!
Somewhere Else Before has a strong sense of direction toward eclectism - not weird, ecletic. A very nice combination of fused (not fusion) traditional trio jazz, electronics, 4/4 rock, and strong melodic lines. All the players have chops, but impressively stay within the melodic structure of the tune - a real compliment to them as musicians/composers. To me this album represents the direction EST wants to go. Unfortunately, A Strange Place For Snow is where they currently ended up. And while it is by no means a bad album, it is not the next logical progression from Somewhere Else Before.
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